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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

ALEXANDER VON HTJMBOLDT.               155
CHAPTER X.
KOSMOS,   AS  THE EPITOME  OF  HUMBOLDX'S SCIENTIFIC MFE.
IN speaking of the lectures on physical geography
given by Humboldt in the -winter of 1827-28, in the
Lecture-room of the University, and in the Large-
hall of the Singing Academy of Berlin., we mentioned
that  he  had the intention of publishing these re-
nowned lectures in a work called cc Kosmos/' but' that
other occurrences forced him to delay its revision and
publication.    He considered these lectures.,  delivered
before a large miscellaneously educated public, as an
easy conclusive means of proving the good or imper-
fect connexion of single portions of his theories, and,
therefore.,   he had before   coming to   Berlin   given
similar lectures in Paris in the French language.    He
laid   down   in   unstudied   addresses,   and   without
written notes, his conception  of  science;  and  how
anxious the public were to retain the fugitive words,
is evident from the fact that of his capable hearers
several took doWn his lectures, and several prepared
and published them by zaeans of notes and an excel-
lent memory,    Htimboldt did not write down what
he had then lectured until 1843  and 1844, but how
could he have written the same when in the inter-
vening  time  the  treasures  of observation and ex-
perience had so considerably increased, and opinions
and theories  had been  developed by more mature t
consideration?     But  in order to give unity, spirit,
and life to his  subsequent  descriptions, he started
from those lectures and the era  of science therein.